The LHC is the worlds largest particle collider, but has it hit its limit? An international community of physicists are calling for a new CERN discovery machine that can reach even higher collision energies and potentially unlock the biggest mysteries of our universe.
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Thumbnail image courtesy of Maximilien Brice, CERN.
Next-generation LHC: CERN lays out plans for 21-billion supercollider
The document offers several preliminary designs for a Future Circular Collider (FCC) which would be the most powerful particle smasher ever built with different types of collider ranging in cost from around 9 billion (US$10.2 billion) to 21 billion. It is the labs opening bid in a priority-setting process called the European Strategy for Particle Physics Update, which will take place over the next two years and will affect the fields future well into the second half of the century.
How to make a Higgs boson
It doesnt seem like collisions of particles with no mass should be able to produce the mass-giving boson, the Higgs. But every other second at the LHC, they do.
The Physics Still Hiding in the Higgs Boson
But physicists understand little about the omnipresent Higgs field, or the fateful moment in the early universe when it suddenly shifted from having zero value everywhere (or in other words, not existing) into its current, uniformly valued state. That shift, or symmetry-breaking event, instantly rendered quarks, electrons and many other fundamental particles massive, which led them to form atoms and all the other structures seen in the cosmos.
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